Wednesday, November 04, 2009

"Slogged through, Aug '90"

I like used books. There is nothing wrong with buying new books, and I do this from time to time, but I also like to wander through the second hand bookshops to search for hidden treasure. Like the time I happened upon a no nonsense ultrasound study guide just as I had started studying for my board exam and needed to refresh my memory. It turned out to be an excellent resource, and was a bargain at 50 cents. It was marked down from $1 because the cover was ripped. Found it at the Rancho Coastal Thrift Shop in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California. How random is that? Out of curiosity, I looked it up online. Out of print and difficult to find, the only copy I could locate was priced at around $60.

New books are pretty, but sterile. No dog-eared corners or torn covers. No broken spines or yellowed pages. No bookshop stamps or annotations. Some used books have the previous owner's name written inside the cover, or a library stamp, or maybe something that the used book shop put there. If you're lucky there might be something more. I enjoy those random snippets that people sometimes scribe there. It might be where they got the book, or when, or who gave it to them. Maybe an opinion about the contents, or a verse of poetry. You never know what you'll find in a book that has been around and changed hands. Like this -- I am reading The Fall of Hyperion for the second time since it was purchased from a used bookstore years ago. A Mr. H. M. Moore, Jr. left a note on the inside cover:

Slogged through
Aug '90

19 comments:

LL said...

Heathen!

BC said...

I love old and used books for those very reasons you pointed out. They tell a tale of their own before you read the actual story inside.

fermicat said...

LL - pfpbbthbfftbptfpht.

BC - hooray for the ratty old books!

tiff said...

:)

dr sardonicus said...

That's one of the best book reviews I've ever read.

fermicat said...

Hi Tiff - good to see you.

Dr S - well, thanks.

dr sardonicus said...

i like the smell of used book stores... this is Jenn but doc is signed in

fermicat said...

Hi Jenn - yes, they do have a unique (and mostly pleasant) smell. Almost the same as a library, but not quite.

Jim Donahue said...

Yeah, I like used books too.

I once bought an old, musty book of humor (from the '20s, as I recall) because it had been inscribed: "To Jim -- Love, Fred and Ethel."

trinamick said...

We used to have a wonderful used book store here in Hickville. My grandpa and I would spend one Saturday a month poring over all the books, trading in ones from home for a new supply. Now I just can't stand to pay for a new book that has no personality - such a waste.

fermicat said...

Jim - looks like that book was meant for you.

trinamick - we still have a few, but I really miss Oxford Too in Atlanta and Avenue Victor Hugo in Boston.

Dr Jenn said...

I cat blogged with a story about getting wet. :P

Dave said...

A little slow to respond, and totally off topic, what are they doing? It's the 4th quarter!

Dave said...

Were you able to drink enough in the second half? You're going to drop in the polls. Nonetheless, congrats.

LL said...

Well hell fermi...

I thought for sure your guys were going to let Wake beat ya...

dr sardonicus said...

Given some of the other things that happened today, I don't think this game hurts the Jackets' poll standing.

NYPinTA said...

I take my books new, used, or borrowed. ;)

fermicat said...

Dr Jenn - will check it out when I sober up!

Dave - making it exciting for the fans? A little too exciting for my taste. I don't smuggle alcohol into the stadium, so I had to endure it stone cold sober. Couple of teams ahead of us lost, and we won it in style in overtime. I don't see us dropping in the polls.

LL - Didja watch the OT? Coach has BIG brass balls, I tell ya. Bet everything on converting a 4th-and-inches, going for the win instead of trying for another tie. Yesssssss.

Dr S - I concur. We should move up a spot or two. But most importantly, we are still leading our division and are on track to go to the title game in Tampa.

NYPinTA - right there with ya. I love books, bookstores, libraries. And bookstores with a resident cat? The coolest.

Kathleen said...

I like all books, used, new, etc. I'm not picky when it comes to books, except for content...and even then, I'll read most anything.

Have you discovered Tana French yet? I finished her first book last week - Into the Woods - and am now reading her second book - The Likeness. Not sci-fi, but most excellent mystery/suspense.